Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Interdimensional Travel: Visualisation of 3D-2D Transitions in Anatomy Learning

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Iain KeenanORCiD


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


© 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.Clinical image interpretation is one of the most challenging activities for students when they first arrive at medical school. Interpretation of clinical images concerns the identification of three-dimensional anatomical features in two-dimensional cross-sectional computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images in axial, sagittal and coronal planes, and the recognition of structures in ultrasound and plain radiographs. We propose that a cognitive transition occurs when initially attempting to interpret clinical images, which requires reconciling known 3D structures with previously unknown 2D visual information. Additionally, we propose that this 3D-2D transition is required when integrating an understanding of superficial 2D surface landmarks with an appreciation of underlying 3D anatomical structures during clinical examinations. Based on educational theory and research findings, we recommend that 3D and 2D approaches should be simultaneously combined within radiological and surface anatomy education. With a view to this, we have developed and utilised digital and art-based methods to support the 3D-2D transition. We outline our observations and evaluations, and describe our practical implementation of these approaches within medical curricula to serve as a guide for anatomy educators. Furthermore, we define the theoretical underpinnings and evidence supporting the integration of 3D-2D approaches and the value of our specific activities for enhancing the clinical image interpretation and surface anatomy learning of medical students.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Keenan ID, Powell M

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology

Year: 2020

Volume: 1235

Pages: 103-116

Online publication date: 03/06/2020

Acceptance date: 02/04/2016

Series Title: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-37639-0_6

PubMed id: 32488638

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9783030376390